Friday, December 31, 2010

...And a Happy New Year!

It was so nice to talk to you guys the other day!!! Man, I swear it felt like that call only lasted like 5 minutes though, it was way too short! I loved it though!

Well, things here have been pretty slow recently with the Holiday season and all. No worries though, this week should be better. But not a whole lot has changed since my phone call home. We did have the chance to meet with several investigators again, they are doing really well, unfortunately though they aren't progressing as fast as we had hoped, but we are trying to find different ways to help them out as best we can. Elder Krugman and I haven't really had a whole lot of teaching opportunities this week, so the only other thing we can really do is tract, and instead of saying "ahhh tracting again?" we just go out and do it, and are making jokes to each other and having a good time while doing it, which makes the day go by a whole lot quicker!

Our parking assignment on Christmas Day went pretty well, surprisingly there was quite a few people there, which I didn't think there would be, but it wasn't too bad, and honestly I probably wouldn't have been doing much otherwise, so it wasn't a big deal. Yes I did get the present from the Primary, I was meaning to talk to you about that on the phone call, but please tell them Thanks for me!! I loved it! Well that's about all I have for you today, but I hope everything is going well for you guys, and I love you tons!!!! Talk to you next week!

- Elder Schaap

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Phone Call from Elder Schaap!

We got a fun phone call yesterday afternoon from Robbie. We were able to talk to him for about an hour before he had to go to his assignment to help with parking at the temple visitors' center for people who were coming to see the Festival of Lights. He sounded really great - just like we all remember! He said it was a little weird responding to his first name, because he hadn't done that in 5 months! He loves the new ward he's in, the area he's in, the people he's working with, and his new companion, Elder Krugman. He's having to rely on his own cooking a little more in this area than in his last area, but so far, he's surviving! He said it's very cold because of both the wind and the humidity, which make the wind chill factor colder than what the temperature gauge we see on the internet tells you. He's enjoying being on his bike, and as you can tell from the photos he sent home, he loves his new hat! It keeps him very warm! He loves that his new area is so close to the temple (about 5 miles away). We just had a really great time talking to him, catching him up on things at home, and it was so great to hear his voice!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

Wow, this last week has just flown by, in fact, this transfer is going by way too quick, but that is a good thing right? Anyways, so good to hear from you guys! Things are going pretty good here, busy as usual, Elder Krugman and I were able to go to the Visitor's Center 3 times this week!! And we saw Jenny Oaks Baker (violin player) and Sandra Turley (broadway singer) perform, which were both really good performances, and both times the theater was filled to capacity.

We had an interesting day on Sunday haha, so to start off, the missionaries covering the South/East area have been teaching this lady who kept claiming that she had been baptized into our church before, but her records couldn't be found, so she just decided that she was ok with that, and she would just get baptized again. So Elder Krugman and I go to her house on Friday for the baptismal interview and he finds out that there is an issue that has to be taken to Pres. M in order for her to be cleared to be baptized, so we call President, and he says that he will just be there at our church on Sunday and talk to her before the meetings start. Well church here starts at 1:00, and 1:10 rolls around, finally she shows up after President had been there for almost a half hour. So they talk, and she is cleared to be baptized, so Elder Krugman and I start filling up the font so that it will be ready, we called the missionary that was in the area previously so that he could come and perform the ordinance. Needless to say it was a very stressful day at church because me and my companion were in charge of most of the logistics of the whole thing.

And then.... about 30 minutes before the baptism is supposed to happen, this guy in the ward comes up to us and hands us a paper that says they found her records, and that she no longer needs to be baptized hahaha man it was frustrating. After all that work to make sure that the baptism happened on time and that everything was going to go perfectly, we find out that none of it was needed. I liked the way a member of the ward put it, they said it was just a "really intense reactivation" haha that pretty much sums it up perfectly.

Well I hate to throw a wrench in your guys' plans, but we have been lucky enough to receive the opportunity to do parking for the Visitor's Center on Christmas day!! So I really can't give you a better time frame of when I will be calling than 2:00-6:00 my time, 12:00 - 4:00 your time, and even that is not set in stone.... Sorry, but we really haven't been very informed of what we need to do for parking that day, but not to worry, I will get to call sometime! Even if I have to fight for it! haha hopefully I won't though.

I love you guys so much though!! And I can't wait to talk to you on Saturday!!! I will answer your questions that you asked then!!! LOVE YOU TONS!!!

- Elder Schaap
Pic #1 - SNOW!
Pic #2 - Me (and my sweet hat!!!) and Elder Krugman all geared up to go out in the cold!
Pic #3 - At the Visitor's Center with our investigators (funniest little old lady ever!!!)
Pics #4-6 -We went to the National Air and Space Museum today, along with the Capitol Building, and we walked across that frozen pond haha it was sweet!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pics from DC

New convert in DC 3rd Ward

Elders Krugman and Schaap with DC 3rd Ward
member and Elder and Sister Postma

Elders Johnson and Schaap with Patuxent Ward member

Elder Schaap and Lexington Park Ward member

News from DC 3rd Ward

Hey everyone!

Glad to hear things are crazy as usual haha. Things here are really good, the city is sweet! People here are surprisingly very nice, and humble and willing to listen to us a give us a chance, so that is nice. It is definitely a lot different than down in Southern Maryland, but I love it here. Being on a bike is fun, except it kind of stinks because Elder Krugman has been on a bike now for 3 months, and he dominates me when we go up hills, and because it is so freakin cold here! No worries though, I have a lot of cold weather clothing, and I will be buying some more later today actually, I don't want you guys to have to worry about buying me any, because that way you won't have to spend more money by sending it to me, and this way I can get exactly what I want.

Anyways though, the city is sweet, there are 8 missionaries in the ward that I go to now, along with 2 senior couples! So I am definitely not banished down south any more. The ward is sweet, it is mostly black people, and they are hilarious, and because most of them come from different religious backgrounds, there are some things that they do at church that I wasn't used to, but it is completely normal to them, I can't really think of any specific examples at the moment, but I will get back to you about that next week, it is sweet though. Also, this last Sunday, there was a baptism in our ward, and she is an awesome lady that has a sweet story. Apparently missionaries knocked on her door about a year ago, but she was not interested at the time and just sent them on their way, well about a month or so ago, she saw missionaries riding on their bikes and actually stopped them and told them that she thought that she needed to join the church. She has a distant relative in our ward that she talks to quite a bit, and she just decided one day that this was the next step in her life. Pretty crazy how the Lord prepares people, and just like that they are baptized after 1 month of meeting with the missionaries.

Well thank you guys for the CD player and CD's that you sent me, and Grandpa for the Gift Card!!! Do you guys want me to make copies of the CD's that you sent so that if something happens to them, there will be a back up? Let me know. Dad - my camera is a Nikon CoolPix S3000, my companions name is Elder Krugman, and you are a jerk for bringing up steak and strats!!! Mom - no I am pretty sure that isn't in my area, Silver Spring is east of my area, but I will definitely keep that in mind! Thanks for the update on all the other missionaries, anything on Jake? I got a christmas card from his family this week! Tell them that I hope they are doing well, and Jake as well, also see if I can have his address so that I can write to him!

As for the Christmas phone call, I am not exactly sure what time I will be calling, but it will be after 2 o'clock here, so after Noon there, more likely it will be somewhere around 1 or 2 your time would be my guess, and President has told us to try and keep it to about an hour. I am really excited to talk to you guys! And Have a great week!! Love you TONS!!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. I might get on later and send you some pics! I forgot the connector again.... SORRY!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Transferred to DC 3rd Ward!

Hey Everyone!!

Man this week has been really crazy, but I guess I will start off with the Festival of Lights. Elder Johnson and I were able to go up 2 times this past week (Fri and Sat) and it was really cool! They have different musical events going on at the visitors center every night until New Years! We saw the Chapel Ringers and a Flute Ensemble, really cool to see. We went the first night with a recent convert in our ward who is an awesome guy, very solid in the gospel. Saturday night we actually went with two different less active families in the ward, and we had a good time with them. Then on Sunday, we went over to a member's house for dinner and to teach his kind of daughter in law (long story) anyways, it went really well, she has been going through some hard times in her life and is now looking for something new to give her hope, so hopefully she will be able to find it with the church!

Well, as it sounds like you already heard from a couple of different sources, I did get transferred :( it was sad to leave, but it is good at the same time. I am going to miss that ward down in Patuxent, but I am looking forward to meeting this new one. So the area I am in now is the D.C. 3rd North area, and my companion is Elder Krugman. I am really excited for this transfer, Elder Krugman is a really cool guy, and I am looking forward to working with him! Should be pretty fun!

Everything is very different here though, I will no longer be getting fed every single night (DANGIT!) probably only about two times a week or so, and the work is much different here, the area is a lot smaller than what I came from, but it will be good and will hopefully help me become a better missionary!

Well I have to go now, but Dani, I got your letter, I don't have time to reply to it today, but I promise I will next P-day! And THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!! I am way pumped to have a bunch of music now!!!!!! I love you guys sooooo much, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Some pics for ya! Most of them of the Temple and Lights and such...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What a week!

Holy Mackrell!!!

This is pretty weird, I am not going to lie... I always knew that the day would come that I would hear that Dani was "officially" engaged, but I guess I didn't realize how it would really feel. I am really happy for you guys! And from the looks of things, you guys are happy too, it's just way weird that I am not going to be around for any of it!!! No worries though, somehow I am sure you will make do without me haha but you have to do the cardboard cut-out!! It has to happen!!

Anyways haha looks like you guys had a REALLY good Thanksgiving, that's good to see, not gonna lie though, I have yet to have food as good as the stuff that we have at home. That being said, I wasn't too bad off for Thanksgiving over here, we ate with a family (my favorite family in the ward!) and they fed us pretty dang well. I had so much food that I didn't think that I would want to eat ever again, of course that feeling went away relatively shortly haha but after that, we went over to another family in the ward's home, and they gave us pie!! Wow I was full!!!!

Other than that, this week was pretty good, I was actually able to go to the Temple today!! And we have 2 times planned for this week to go up to the Festival of Lights which starts on Friday (we are going Friday and Saturday), so I am pretty excited about that.

About the $149 that I spent at Best Buy.... ummmm I might have broken down and bought a new camera... yeah, my camera was just not cutting it, but look on the bright side, hopefully that means I will have more pictures right? Hopefully... But that is the reason why I am emailing you so late today is because going to the temple is an all day event in this area because it is about 5 hours round trip. I did take pictures though! I just forgot the cord to hook up my camera to the computer.... sorry!! I promise I will send pictures next week though, oh and you guys might be getting a little early Christmas present from me soon!! Well that is about all I have for you this week, sorry for being so short, but that is sweet that Dani and Brad are finally engaged!!! It feels like you guys have been talking about it for like 2 months now!! Congrats!!! Talk (literally!!!!) to you guys soon!!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Family!!!

So I am not going to be terribly long today, but thanks for all the updates!! That is crazy to hear about all the weather you guys are receiving there! Haha it got up to 72 here yesterday! I am sure though that you guys won't be doing much outside atleast today and tomorrow because you will be in the kitchen! As for me and Elder Johnson, we are going to be visiting a few people for dinner, and we will get fed, don't you worry, it may not be Uncle Rick's stuffing, but there will be food in our stomachs! It is pretty weird to be away from home for my first Thanksgiving to be honest, but no worries, just one more after this one!

That is way sweet that you guys are going to Logan for the game!! You will definitely have to let me know how it goes! Bummer that they lost to BYU though. And all this apple pie throwdown talk sounds delicious!!

Not a whole lot happened here this last week, unfortunately one of our investigators dropped us though, apparently she was on the internet looking for information about our church and came across this site that I didn't even know existed. The site talks very highly of the members of our church, but it bashes our beliefs, and she decided that she felt the same way, that the people were nice, but that she didn't believe the same things that we do. That was a huge bummer... but I guess that's how it goes, she was so golden at first, and then just like that, she is no longer interested.

Our other investigator is doing ok as far as I know, we were supposed to help him set up some of his Christmas decorations yesterday, we went there, and no one was home.... and we haven't been able to contact him since, we know that he wasn't feeling very good on Sunday, but that is as far as we know. Not really the best news, I know, but things will get better!

Well that is about all I have for you guys this week, I love you guys so much, and I miss you!! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and try to not go into too many turkey/stuffing/sweet potato/apple pie coma's haha Love you guys!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Mom, the kind of CD player that I want is just a discman, we should have a few old ones I think, but yeah I don't want the huge bulky one, Thanks!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Week of Teaching and Great Service Projects

Hello Family!!

Glad to hear everyone is doing well! And that you got my letter, by the way.... My handwriting has always been that good, I don't know what you guys are talking about! You are crazy! Haha

Anyway, this week was a lot of the same unfortunately, we are still in the process of finding people, one pretty cool thing did happen this week though, a couple of weeks ago, our Bishop - he is the man! He used to be a rescue swimmer in the Navy, so he is huge! But that's a story for another day, anyways, he gave us a referral, it is one of his former co-workers that he used to talk religion with all the time, and seemed interested in at least learning more about our church. We got the chance to meet him and he is an awesome guy! He said that he would keep an open mind about everything that we said and the reading assignment that we gave him! We will be following up sometime soon to see how it went, so hopefully we will be teaching him more often!

This week was another service week too, which was pretty sweet! We helped a guy take out some bamboo that was overgrowing in his yard, and then yesterday, we helped a less-active member in the ward completely take out his garden for the winter. We were there for 4 hours, but we could have stayed there all day and still not be finished! Unfortunately I didn't take my camera with me, so I can't show you the before and after pictures though. Oh, and it was one of our investigator's birthday last friday, so we made cookies for him and took them over, we were hoping to be able to meet his wife too, but she wasn't there, he was happy to see us though, and he ate like 4 cookies while we were there haha. He wasn't able to make it to the FHE at our stake pres's house though, which kind of bummed us out, but there is another "Why I Believe" Fireside coming up next sunday at the Temple, so hopefully he will be able to go to that!!

Our other investigator is doing a little bit better, she hasn't had the chance to ask her sister about her concerns with our church, but we are meeting with her Saturday to hopefully resolve some of them.

Well sorry for being so short this week, but that's about all I have to report on haha, I am glad you got the picture though from Bro. D, he is awesome! And to answer some of your questions Dad - I know, it's crazy that Thanksgiving is only a week away!!! I am kind of depressed that I am not going to get any of the AMAZING stuffing this year! Or next! No we don't have a mission conference, but members of our ward have offered to feed us! Oh yeah, and there is probably more Less-Active/Inactive members in this ward than there is Active. Mom - Conference CD's would be sweet! And that is awesome that Jake is doing well, and that he is a DL! Dani - You have to tell me how USU does against BYU!!! LOVE YOU!!! ;)

- Elder Schaap

P.S. You guys probably are mad, but I still don't have any pictures for you, I am counting that one that Bro D sent haha.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tracting in Patuxent


So good to hear from you guys!! Sounds like things at home are busy as usual! Everything here is going pretty well here, me and Elder Johnson are starting to learn how to work with each other, so that is good!

It has been a pretty uneventful week though to be honest. We have been doing a lot of tracting to hopefully get more people in our teaching pool, it is kind of tedious, but if you want to have people to teach, you have to do it. We have seen some good come out of it though, hopefully as we continue to work hard we will see more success.

Our investigators are doing really well, we met with Rob again on Monday, he is trying hard to find answers to his questions in the Book of Mormon, it is just taking a little longer than we had hoped, but that is ok, he still has a good attitude and is diligent. I know that eventually he will find them, even if it takes longer than it does for most people. One thing that we are going to do with him in the upcoming week that should be pretty sweet, we are taking him to a FHE that the stake does every month for Recent Converts and Investigators at the Stake President's house, I was able to go last month with our recent convert in the ward, Bob, and now hopefully everything will work out so that Rob can go!

We were also finally able to get into contact with Donna again, she is still doing good, but she is not going to be able to be baptized this Saturday like we had originally planned unfortunately. She started smoking again, and she can't meet with us this week at all, but she did defend our religion to her sister who has some misconceptions about our church, and we told her to ask her sister what her questions were and write them down so that we can do our best to answer them next time we meet with her. It was very cool to hear that she defended us though, and her reasoning for it was even cooler, apparently her sister was talking badly about our church, and Donna knew that a lot of the things her sister was saying weren't true because of how nice we had been to her. So we still have very high hopes for her!!

Well that is about all I have for you guys this week, hopefully I will have more for you in the next email though!! Oh, and I wrote you guys a letter today, so be expecting something in the mail soon!!! Love you tons!! And sorry for no pictures again haha I will take some soon!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Starting the New Transfer

Hey everyone!

It is always so good to hear from you all! Sounds like everyones week was pretty eventful to say the least! The same goes for me, actually this last week was pretty crazy and stressful for me because I am now the one that has to know the area, everyone in it, and pretty much everything about it! Things are going pretty well though, I wasn't feeling the greatest these past few days (I think a little bit of it was from the stress) but no worries, I am feeling better now! It is definitely a new challenge though to get used to a new companion, and taking over an area, because I was with Elder Walker for nearly 3 months, and over that time, we got used to how each other worked. Now everything has completely changed, don't get me wrong, Elder Johnson and I are working really well together, it just takes a little bit of time getting used to everything that is new. We have been working hard though, and it is going to take just that to keep up things going the way they were.

As for our investigators, Rob is doing really well, we were able to meet with him yesterday, and we talked about two of the more scary things that we have to teach people, the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Tithing, all of my worries were for nothing though because he was completely receptive and willing to follow both of them!!! Sweet! He is so awesome, unfortunately though, we weren't able to meet with his whole family because he hasn't been feeling the greatest and has had a ton of doctors appointments for his back and allergies. So we are hoping that we will be able to set up something so that us and Rob's family go to dinner at a member of our ward's house for dinner so that they can meet someone from the church before they actually attend.

And Donna is still doing well, but we actually haven't been able to meet with her for over a week, and she wasn't at church this week :( we don't know why, we haven't been able to contact her since then, so I hope she is still doing well!

Well I had a pretty funny experience this week with Elder Johnson, so on Halloween day, we were already over our miles for the month, and we had to do be in for the night right after dinner, so we had about 3 hours between church and dinner that we had to fill, but with out using any miles. So we decided to ride our bikes haha, at first I thought I was going to hate it, but it was actually way fun!! And my bike is sweet! We didn't go too far, maybe about 6 miles or so total, but it was still a lot of fun, and gave me at least a little bit of an idea of what it is like to do missionary work on a bike.

I hope everything is going well at home, that is insane that you guys have already had that much snow! We haven't even gotten rain here for quite a while, but it is starting to get a lot colder, yesterday it only got to the mid 50's. And that is crazy that Jake is already leaving, it feels like just yesterday that he told me he got his call, but I am glad I was able to help him! Dani - that is sweet that you went to the HOWL haha honestly I wouldn't have even remembered that if you hadn't have reminded me, but did you see any of my friends?! Mike was one of the DJ's!! Mom - haha sorry about your flight experience, it sounded pretty bad, how do you always get stuck next to those guys?! Dad - HOLY MACKRELL, what is it with our family and car batteries??? We pretty much have the worst luck with them! Well that is all I have for you this week, sorry no pictures :( I will try and send some next week though! Love you guys tons!!!

- Elder Schaap

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Transfer #2 - Staying in Patuxent!

Hello Family!!

Good to hear from you all, and that you are doing well! That's crazy that you guys had snow this week, we haven't seen anything like that here, but I am sure we will soon enough. Well this week was really good for us! Donna came to church - for all 3 hours - and had a really good experience. We went over to her house the following day and asked her what she thought of the whole experience, and her response was really funny, it went something like "It was weird, I didn't think anyone was really that nice" haha so it went really well, and the Relief Society did a great job of introducing themselves to her and making her feel comfortable. The best part about that visit was that we gave her a Baptismal Date for Nov. 13th! We are really excited about it and so is she!!

As for Rob and his family, we weren't able to meet with them unfortunately, Rob and his son went on a camp out for scouts Friday - Sunday :( So consequently that means that he can no longer be baptized on the 6th because he has to come to church atleast twice before that can happen, I am not too worried about it though, because we are going to be meeting with him and hopefully his whole family this week and after that the plan is that they will all come to church and have a new baptismal date!

And for transfers...... I will be staying in Patuxent, but I have a new companion, Elder Johnson, it should be a pretty good transfer, it is definitely going to be different for me though, because I am now the one who has to know everything about the area since I have been here the longest. Elder Walker was sent to the Anacostia Central area which I hear is a pretty rough area, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I don't have a picture of me and Elder Johnson yet... maybe next week I will. It has been a pretty interesting day though, because Elder Walker and Elder Nowlin had to go up by themselves to Transfers because there was no way all 4 of us could have fit in the car with all their stuff, so my new companion and my other new roommate had to drive down here by themselves with only the GPS to tell them what to do haha it was a long trip, but they eventually made it. Other than that I really don't have a whole lot for you guys other than

Thanks for the package!! Just what I needed.... more candy haha seriously though I loved it, and the cookies are amazing! Funny story though, the camera you guys sent me is actually older than the one that I have haha the one that I have is 5.0 megapixels and the one you sent is only 4.0. Ha I guess I will just keep it as a back up unless you guys want me to send it back. It is good to hear that Brad got the whole 2 minutes - 2 minutes - 2 minutes - 2 minutes (with the hand motions.... of course) talk, you can't cook a steak any other way (unless of course they are really thick steaks, then it is 3 minutes - 3 minutes - 3 minutes - 3 minutes hahaha) But I love you guys!!! Glad to hear that you are all doing well! That's sweet that you got to go to a jazz game! And I am super bummed that I don't get to go to the USU basketball games this year :( haha I love you guys so much!!! And hope you have a wonderful week! And tell Grandpa to start feeling better!!

- Elder Schaap

Pic #1 - My District
Pic #2 - My Appartment

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Why I Believe" Firesides

Hey everyone!!

So good to hear from you guys! I feel like I am not going to be able to recognize anything by the time I come home, so much has changed already, and it has only been 3 months!!! Well this last week was pretty sweet! We had 2 investigators come to church, I don't think I have ever told you about Donna before, but she has a pretty cool story. So Elder Walker and his last companion found Donna and her two neighbors, Leon and Cook, when they first ran into these guys Leon was the most interested in learning more about our church, well a few weeks passed and Cook became more interested, well until just recently, Donna did not seem interested at all, in fact they didn't even give her a Book of Mormon when they first met her, but she has had some struggles lately and is looking for answers that no one was able to answer before she found us! It has been pretty cool to see! It seems like everytime we go over there she is always stressed out about something, but by the time we leave she has settled down and relaxed. The coolest thing was that on Monday, while we were over there, she decided all on her own that she needed to stop smoking! Me and Elder Walker were in disbelief!!! She said that after she finished the one pack she had (which had like 3 cigarettes in it) that she was going to quit, well we went over there yesterday to give her a book, and there was a big old sign on her fridge that said "I QUIT" it was so amazing to see, she isn't kidding about it! She won't even let anyone smoke in her house anymore, and we are going back over there tomorrow to give her a packet on how to stop smoking! Pretty sweet stuff!

We also had the chance to see Rob on Monday, and we were actually late to his house because Donna had so many questions. But our visit with Rob went really well, and we are going back to his house this Friday to have dinner with him and he is going to introduce us to his whole family! He also said that he wants to go to one of our members homes for dinner and meet them the following day, and then come to church - with his whole family - on Sunday! We are very excited for him his family!! Hopefully they will all be ready to be baptized by Nov. 6th!! Definitely keep them in your prayers!

So this last Sunday was pretty cool, other than the fact that we had 2 investigators at church, Elder Walker and I went to the Visitor's Center for what is called a "Why I Believe" Fireside. We went with a recent convert in the Ward, his name is Bob, and he gave the opening prayer at the meeting! But the Fireside is very cool, they have a couple of recent converts speak about how they met the missionaries, what made them convert and things like that, they are held every month hopefully we will be taking Rob and his family to the next one! The last speaker's name was Barrett Christensen, and he works in the LDS Philanthropy office, he gave us some cool stats from 2009 about what the church's humanitarian aid had done in the previous year.

I got the packages, Thank You!!!! Dad, the raincoat is sweet!!! I like it a lot, there is no need to get another one, it will just be more weight to carry around. That's cool that you guys had dinner with the missionaries and the Robbs'!! Freakin Billy is huge!! I haven't been gone that long have I? And tell Kendall she better write me back! Crazy! Mom, what's with the new car?!?! haha and I see that you still didn't sell Dani's car yet! And that story about Jordan is too funny haha Dani, glad to hear that you had a good fall break! But it's back to work now!! Keep it up! Well I love you guys so much!! Give Grandpa my Best! I hope that everything works out there!!! And I hope you guys have a great week!!! Love you!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. The pictures are from the Visitor's Center display that they have going on right now, and the Temple!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baptism on Nov. 6!

Hey Hey Hey!!

So good to hear from you guys! Things are going really well here! We have a new baptismal date!! Our investigators name is Rob, and he is scheduled to be baptized on Nov. 6th! I am pretty excited about it, especially because he has a sweet story, here it is: So his mom is catholic and his dad is southern baptist, and he remembers one time as a little kid when the missionaries came to his door and told he and his dad that if they read from the Book of Mormon and prayed to ask to know if it was true, that God would answer their prayers. Well since his dad is Baptist, he wouldn't let Rob read from it and hid it from him, but this always sparked his interest and apparently has been wanting to meet with missionaries again so that he could get his hands on one of these books. Fast Forward to about 1 month before we met him, Rob and his wife were recently talking about what church they and their two kids were going to start attending, and then what happens, we show up on his door step! Such a cool story! And we are way excited for it, so hopefully I am still here when it all goes down! Transfers are on the 26th this month (Yes I know that is a tuesday, but pres matsumori has meetings that he has to be at on Wed, Thurs, and Fri, that means P-day will be that day as well) I really think that I will stay though, so I am pumped!! The best part about the whole thing is that if he gets baptized, it is almost guaranteed that his whole family will as well!! We are very excited for that!

Other than that, we had a mission conference this last friday, and Elder Gibbons from I believe the 2nd quorum of the seventy came and spoke to us. It was a very good meeting, the main focus of it was how we can more effectively work with members, and he gave us a few interesting stats, 65% of all recent converts are referalls from members, and 80% of all recent converts knew members before they were baptized, so it goes to show us that if we are working with our members, our chance of success is much better!! Pretty sweet stuff! So we are going to try and do just that!

Well that is about all I have for you guys this week!! Keep the updates coming, that is sweet that you met a missionaries that lived in Austin's area! 3 baptisms in 3 weeks?!?! There is a member in the ward here that served in the Salt Lake City South Mission, and he said that there is roughly 180 baptisms a month in that mission! Dinner with the Robbs' sounds fun too! I haven't gotten the packages yet, everything goes to the mission office before it actually makes it to me, so things generally take around 7-8 days to make it here, but I am excited!! And don't worry about another coat, its not a huge deal. Glad everything is going well! Everything here is still good! I love you guys a ton, and thanks for everything!!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1st General Conference in the Mission Field!

Hello Family!!!

Well this week was pretty sweet! Thursday was crazy!!! I don't know if you saw anything about the weather here, but there was the end of a tropical storm passing over us, and we received about 12 inches of rain from what I hear, whatever it was, there was a ton of it!!! Didn't stop us though haha we still did our normal thing. Friday, I had my first CDM, which is where we get interviewed by President, it was pretty cool being able to sit and talk one on one with him for a minute, but it really wasn't much of an interview, he just asked if there was anything that he could do for me, and then I was out of there.

As for Conference, I was able to watch all 10 hours of it in our ward building here! And it was sweet, I loved every minute of it, I even took notes!! Pretty cool, some of my favorites were Elder Holland on Saturday morning, when he talked about the sacrifice that his parents had made so that he could go on a mission really made me think about you guys, and everything that you have done, and are currently doing for me to be able to be out here, it kind of put a new perspective on things for me, and really made me appreciate you guys more! One of the others that stuck out to me was Pres. Uchtdorf's, both of them actually, when he talked about focusing on the simple things, and the quote "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" I love that, so many times in our lives we get to caught up in the little details of things when we really just need to take a step back and look at the big picture. His one about Pride was really good as well, and he had some very good incites, one of the things that stuck out to me was when he said something to the effect of when we are prideful it either means we are jealous of someone or we want someone to be jealous of us, there is quite a bit of that out here, he also said that we can be grateful for blessings, but don't inhale them, that was a funny statement, but profound at the same time so many times in our lives we take advantage of those things that we have when really we should be grateful for them. My other favorite talk was by Elder Bednar about the Holy Ghost, I loved how he said that just because we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, doesn't neccessarily mean we have received it, it doesn't just come to us with out us putting forth effort to receive it. I wish I had my notes with me right now, I would probably be able to go in to greater details on what I got out of them, but maybe I will just write a letter home this next P-Day :)

Other than that though, I would really appreciate if you guys could send out a rain coat for me, if possible I would like to have one that is a black, longer than my suit coat, waterproof, and that has a hood, if you have already got one for me, then disregard those details though haha. Also, if you could send out my Black neoprene gloves, last I remember, they were on my dresser, and if you could my thermals, also in my dresser. Thanks!!

Mom - We actually have a GPS in this area, but if I do go to an area where I need one, I will let you know! And yes I believe they do give the conference Ensigns to us, and we also have a monthly subscription I think. And Thanks so much for the gift cards!!!! I can assure you they will be put to good use!!

Dad - I am sorry to hear about Kyle, that is a rough situation, especially for Marilyn. I haven't heard anything about the stink bugs though. And General conference has not really had any effect on the work here, other than the fact that we tell people that they can hear the living prophet on tv!

Dani - I look forward to getting your letter!!! Keep powering through these two days until your break!!! You can do it!!

Love you guys!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Check out the choir in Priesthood Session, Sean was right behind the chorister!! That was so cool to see him!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Sports Day and The Metro

Well first things first, I read all of your guys' emails, but I most likely will not get to most of the questions or things you had for me, because I am a little short on time. Anyways, today we had a pretty sweet experience, it was Fall Sports Day, which meant that the whole mission got together at this ranch and just played a bunch of different sports! It was way sweet! Also, I rode on the Metro for my first time today! haha it really wasn't that exciting, its just a regular train, nothing too special about it, but it is very convenient! It was cool to meet all of the people in the mission too!

I had a pretty eventful week this last week, I went on two different exchanges this week on Monday and Tuesday, the one on Monday was with the district leader whose regular area is Bowie, the thing that kind of stinks about our district is that it is so big! From the apartment in Bowie to ours is about 70 miles, so instead of having to make the trip twice and waste miles, he just decided to spend two days down here. It was pretty cool, but it was also kind of nervewrecking because I had to be the one that knew what he was doing, no worries though, I some how made it through ;)

I will quickly tell you about an investigator that we found this week, it was pretty sweet! So we were tracting on this street in Mechanicsville, which I don't know if anything in Mechanicsville has ever been tracted because of our mile limitations, but we were there at around 1 o'clock on Monday, which is usually the worst time to tract because no one is home and it makes it feel like you just wasted your time, but this street that we were on, we talked to about 75% of the people! That hasn't happened on a Monday since I have been out here! This man that we taught though, his name is Eddie, he is a single father with two kids ages 10 and 3, he was raised in the Catholic Church, but he said he hasn't gone in over 20 years, his 10 year old daughter goes occasionally with her grandmother, but the is the extent of religion in that house. So we taught him about the Restoration, and it was so cool to see how he reacted to it, we also told him that there was something very rare happening this weekend, and that he could have the opportunity to hear the Modern Day Prophet, he was super excited about that, and we are going to visit him again tomorrow to give him more information about it, and where he can watch it! So he is really excited for that, most people here just can't wrap their minds around how there could be a Prophet on the earth today, and it is cool to see when it hits someone that there is no reason there couldn't be one.

Well, I am sorry for being so brief today, but it was a 2 hour trip from Fall Sports Day, so a lot of our P-day was spent traveling, in fact I haven't even gone shopping yet! haha But I love you guys so much!!! Mom, I hope you are able to move ok haha Dani, yes you are definitely in my prayers everyday!! Keep going though, I know you can do it! And hopefully next P-day I will be able to send a better email!!!

Till next time,

Elder Schaap

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Service Projects!

Well this week went back to normal as far as the area and companionship go haha I only have one companion, and we only cover one area again! But back to normal is a relative term I guess, because when we were combined, LP had most of the appointments, and so most of our time was spent over there, well when we got split again, it was like our area took a week break and saved it for this week! We have been very busy all week! But it has been up and down, Thursday we met with Sarah again, and it was a very good visit, the only problem was, she decided that she is going to start taking classes from the Catholic church she goes to, and since she doesn't have a whole lot of time during the week because she takes care of her Mom full time, she told us she wasn't going to be able to meet with us for the next little while... That really stunk, because she was doing so well, and then just like that, we aren't meeting with her anymore. Good things did come out of this though, as we were leaving, she kept thanking us for everything we had done for her, and almost started to cry. It got me thinking, yeah it does kind of suck that we may not meet with her again, but I can almost guarantee you that she will meet with some missionaries again. I thought that was really cool that we were able to make an impact on her life like that!

On Saturday, me and Elder Walker did a service project for an investigator that didn't seem too promising, nice people, but set in their ways. We helped them tear out their kitchen, and it was actually kind of fun! But, if he didn't have us there, he would have been working on it for a couple of days atleast. It was so cool to see how their hearts were softened, because we helped them and didn't expect anything in return, they are much more open to what we have to say, and to the message that we share. I have been noticing that a lot out here, I think I told you guys about the Car Wash that we did, well its the same principle, everyone is more open to you once you do something nice for them. I really enjoy doing service because it is a much more effective finding method than tracting. We had another service project yesterday, and let me tell you, it was hard work! We were working for about 4 hours straight, with a little lunch break in between, but I figured we probably hauled some where around 2 tons of dirt! We could have helped fill your sink hole haha ;) But it was still good, and even though the person we did it for may never join our church, atleast they will know that people from our church are good people. A lot of people out here have these weird and twisted outlooks on our church because of what they hear from people who don't like our church, well if we aren't doing anything else for them, we are showing them, not telling, what kind of people we are.

I think thats about all I have for you this week, but I always love hearing how things are going at home!! Mom - Good luck with your Century!! Dad - Good to hear you are feeling better! And that's way funny that the sink hole got bigger haha Dani - I swear I haven't even lost weight.... I don't think I look skinny in those pictures, but I guess I wouldn't be the best one to judge that. Also, if I were you, I probably would knock that guy out in your MBA group haha DO ITTTT!
Love you guys a TON! Talk to you next week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Pictures #1 and #2 are before and after of our service project yesterday
Picture #3 Me and Elder Opeda (My new roommate) at the service project, not sure why he looks so pissed haha

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Transfer Day!

Well let me fill you in a little bit on how crazy my week was.... It started off on Thursday morning, the LP elders got a call from Pres Matsumori himself telling Elder Deklerk, who was the DL, that he was being emergency transfered out that day! The call came at around 8 in the morning and we all had to leave at 1! Pretty crazy!! Well the consequence of that happening was that there was only 3 of us left in our appartment.... so we have been a trio for the last week and covering both LP and Patuxent haha and we have been scrambling to figure out and juggle both of our schedules, because we both had appointments and things like that, but we had to compensate on some things, so both us and Elder Nowlin had to cancel some of our appointments. Needless to say it was quite an eventful week, but we made it through with out too many bumps in the road ;) Some of the time it was actually kind of nice though, because we always had appointments, whether they were in our area or LP so we did a lot more teaching and a lot less finding, which is nice! Also, LP has some cool people in there ward, Monday night we got to eat at a 4-star restaurant.... for free! haha it was so awesome! Dani, you should definitely be jealous! I was so full afterwards though, let me tell ya, it might have been worse than thanksgiving!

Other than that though, our investigators are doing well, I just wish they would progress a little faster, things keep coming up, like someone gets sick, or a relative dies, things like that keep preventing us from meeting with them and teaching. It's a little frustrating, but theres not much anyone can do about it so we just have to keep our heads up. As for transfers.... It was about as uneventful as it could have been hahaha I am staying in the same area with the same companion, pretty much the only thing that didn't stay the same was that I now have a new roommate, Elder Opeda who is Elder Nowlin's new companion, but we knew he was going to get a new companion anyways, so pretty much nothing exciting happened haha. We did drive up to the temple today though.... we didn't go inside, that is just where transfers are, but I did get to see it!

Other than that though, not much is going on, hopefully this week will be a little less hectic, and we can actually get some good work done. It is really good to hear from you guys though, sounds like things are busy as usual! Thanks for the Package! I picked it up today! Oh, and I have a question for you, are you trying to make me gain weight or what? You guys keep stuffing these packages full of candy haha I mean don't get me wrong, I love it! Also, it is probably going to take me the entire transfer to do that "Light Reading" that was in the package, but I appreaciate it haha and tell Jord he needs to step it up, I don't even remember the last time I weighed more than him! Dad, all I have to say is, you should probably practice your golf game a little bit, come on -5? haha Dani- not gonna lie, it was pretty weird to see that pic of you and Brad... I don't know, but to me it still seems like he is not home, but I am glad to hear about your school and that you are doing well! I knew you would! Well, thats about all I have for you this week fam! I love you guys!!!! And until next week...

- Elder Schaap

Pic #1 is: Elder Nowlin, Elder Deklerk, Me, and Elder Walker when we dropped off Deklerk to go be trained a ZL, and it was taken by Pres M!!
Pic's #2 and #3 are just proving that I still got it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Park Rock? What a week!

Man what a week... Last Thursday, during the early morning, me, Elder Walker, and the Lexington Park Elders all went to do some service by helping set up some big canopy tents for an event called "Park Rock," it is a concert like Warped tour except not as big of bands. Anyways, we did this and in return we wanted to be able to have a booth at the concert so that we could talk to people about the gospel, well we eventually figured out that about 90% of the audience would be teenagers that came for the music, and the rest would be security guards, not very good odds of finding new investigators... But it was still fun, and they bought us Breakfast and Lunch, so we didn't make it out of there too bad haha. Also, that night we had a lesson with Sara, I don't know if I have told you about her or not before, but she is in her late 40's/ early 50's, and she retired so that she could take care of her mom full time. She was raised Catholic, but is open to the idea that there could be prophets in the America's, she has been meeting with missionaries for about 4 months, but she can't ever come to church because she is always taking care of her mom. Me and Elder Walker took about an hour that day to prepare a lesson for Sara about prayer, because in the Catholic church, most of their prayers are just recited and not very meaningful. One of the biggest things we try and get people to do is read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if it is true. Sara had been doing the reading part, but not the prayer part, so we did a pretty neat scripture chase with her and made her understand the importance of prayer. It was awesome to see how she started to understand what we were saying, we pretty much laid it all down for her and told her that if the Book of Mormon was true, then that means that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, which means that our church is true. She took it very well and told us that she would put it too the test! So that was very cool, unfortunately she can't meet with us this week, so we are going to have to wait until next week to see how it all goes, hopefully I am still in this area!!

Lexington Park had a baptism this last Saturday, and it was a very neat experience! It all went really really well, Elder Deklerk performed the baptism, and it was so cool to see how happy Marsha was after it was all said and done. I don't remember if I told you guys, but she quit drinking and smoking all within about 3 weeks, she is such an awesome lady! Unfortunately the Brennan's were not there... in fact we couldn't even get a hold of them, but I know he is busy, he is an attorney and has about 5 active cases right now I think, plus he was going out of town this weekend too. I am not too worried about them, we have another appointment with them next week, and I am excited to see how they are doing! A really good thing happened this week though, we had a Less-Active, Part-Member Family at church on Sunday! They had a decent time I think, I guess we will find out when we go and see them later this week though.

I had my first exchange this Monday with Elder Deklerk, it was way sweet, he is the DL, and a very good missionary. It was good for me to see how someone else does things. Well transfers are next week, I can't even believe I have been here 5 weeks already, it doesn't even feel like it has been half that yet, but they have a saying here, Hours feel like Weeks and Weeks feel like Hours, I probably wouldn't even have a clue what that means unless I was out here, but it really is true, the last 5 weeks have absolutely flown by. The good news is that it is more than likely that I will be staying here for next transfer, so hopefully I won't have to get used to another area all over again. Well I love you guys!!! It's always good to hear from you!! And as always, I miss you!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wow! My first transfer is going by way too quick!

This week has been a really good one for me, we still have tons of appointments cancelling, but I guess that is just how it is. I kind of lived the good life my first week here, we had one appointment my first day and three the next and all of them held and seemed promising, not so much now, but that's just how it goes. Well I love hearing from you guys about everything that is going on back home. Sounds like things have been crazy as usual haha I have heard about the hurricanes, but just from members in our ward, I am sure if it is going to be bad that the mission home will tell us, but as of right now, we haven't heard anything from them. I had my first Zone Activity today, it was pretty sweet, we played volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and basketball, and I played all three haha we played 5 games of basketball after we ate... I was pooped, I need to get back into shape.

Well for my story I have for you this week, we taught a whole family, the Brennan's, and they are very receptive! They were asking us about what our favorite stories were in the Book of Mormon, and asking how they could become involved and come to know for themselves if what we were saying was true. The father has looked into religion his whole life, he was born into the Catholic church, but doesn't really believe all of it's teachings, he has read the Koran, and all of the different versions of the Bible, pretty crazy stuff, and he told us that he would have the whole Book of Mormon read by our next appointment! He said he prays every night, so we told him to pray about his readings and to ask if they were true. It is very uncommmon to find a family like this, where both the husband and the wife are open to hearing our message, so we have to do everything we can to help them! Also, the Lexington Park elders (the ones we live with) have a baptism this week and the father told us he would come to that, SWEET! I have heard that investigators that come to baptisms are way more likely to be baptized themselves, so hopefully it happens!

It was a pretty funny day yesterday too, we started off not very good, we had 2 appointments just not show up, then we went and tracted an entire street and not even one person answered the door. As we were walking down the street we saw this lady in her front yard with her dog, as soon as she saw us, she jetted into her house, 2 minutes later we go knock on her door... no answer, haha people are interesting, but what can you do right?

Other than that, we are still working with the excommunicated member I told you about last week, he is doing so well!! The only thing that is holding him back is the paper work that has to go through church headquarters, hopefully in the next month he will be able to be baptized, because he is ready!

It has been 90's here this week, not as humid though, either that or I am just getting used to it haha. Well I love you guys!! Glad to hear things at home are going well, minus the fence haha that is pretty funny though, maybe you should put a gate on there that works this time...... just sayin haha. Dani, I know how you feel, kind of, this is definitely the busiest I have ever been, just keep going though, I know you can do it, oh yeah... and it is worth it!! Mom, not really any requests for the package, but I don't know if zucchini bread would still be good once it got here. Dad, dinner with members is great!! They feed us pretty well, I am not really losing weight, but I'm not gaining it either, so thats good, according to the scale we have in our appartement, I am between 200-205.

Sorry if I missed anything, but you guys are so awesome! And if you write me letters, I could probably respond to them better because I can read those all during the week, and reply anytime on P-day, we only have about 30 - 45 minutes on the computers, but definitely keep me up to date on everything, Love you!

- -Elder Schaap

P.S. The Pictures:

#1 - Dani this is for you, I knew you would like it haha, there is a street down here that I am pretty sure Shrek says the Muffin man lives on hahaha hopefully I will be able to get a picture of that one too
#2 - A way funny sign when you first cross the bridge
#3 and #4 - These are just pictures from the bridge that we have to cross, pretty sweet. The other night, we crossed it at sunset and I was so mad that I didn't have my camera!!! I will get one of that soon though

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another conf...district conf...a missionary story

Well this week was pretty crazy, I think I told you before that we have been having a ridiculous amount of appointments cancel, and it didn't stop this week unfortunately, so we have been doing a lot of tracting. Good news is it hasn't been as hot, in fact yesterday it was really pleasant, about 70 degrees and not very humid. We gave one of our investigators a baptismal date this week, which was pretty exciting, but he didn't seem too thrilled about it and was kind of skeptical, we are still hoping and praying that he will continue to work with us and work towards the goal we gave him. I had my first district meeting this week, it was pretty cool, except we have to drive about an hour just to get to the chapel, we are so far away from everything down here, we have zone conference tomorrow and we are going to have to drive about an hour and a half... It was a little depressing though, at lunch after district meeting all of us were talking and most of the guys in my district have been gone over a year haha I am the youngest by far! Time really has flown pretty quickly, it is hard for me to remember what all happened during the week, I can remember church and the rest just seems like a blur, I have already been in this area for 3 sundays! I am half way done with my first transfer... weird!

So I know I haven't really given you guys too many "missionary" stories, but that's because I haven't really had too many. I do have one though, we have been working with a man who was actually excommunicated from the church in 2001. It is a pretty interesting story, I won't tell you what he did to get exed but I will say that after that time, his life got pretty much ruined. He lost his family, his job, and his health, pretty much everything he had. He was very involved with the church, he was in a stake presidency at one point, a ward mission leader as well, he was also employed by the church. Well I probably don't have to tell you this, but he was humbled, the hard way, and he came to the realization that it was not the church's fault for what he had done. Anyways, he is an awesome guy, and he can't wait to be baptized... again. Unfortunately for him and for me, it is a very long process for an excommunicated member to be baptized again and it is going to probably take around 2 months until he can get baptized, so it is doubtful that I will get to see it happen, but we will continue to work every week with him and we know that he will be ready for it when that day comes.

I think that is about all I have for you guys, Dani school sound crazy!! I know how you feel though, this is the most busy I have ever been in my life too!! Mom, the other missionaries in my appartment are Elders Deklerk and Nowlin. And dad, quit freaking me out with these headaches of yours! NO YOKE! Grandpa, thanks for the letter, it is always good to hear how things are going with you guys!

Well I love you guys so much, you really are the best family ever! Hope everything continues to go well! Until next week...

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Month Down Already?!

Where to begin??? I guess a good place to start is with the weather haha it is so ridiculous, you Utahn's don't even know what it is like to have humidity, it has been in the low 90's here and around 80% humid this last week, basically you walk outside and you instantly start sweating. And to go along with it, almost all of our weekly appointments that we usually have cancelled on us this week, so we have been tracting a lot more than usual. So we are in a car area like I told you before, and we have a limit of 1550 miles a month, which is 50 miles a day, well a city in our area called Mechanicsville is 23 miles away, which means we could go straight there and straight back and only have 4 miles left for the day... needless to say, we are ahead of schedule for our miles this month, we have already gone over 1000, hopefully they will allow us more though.

Today is P-day, and we went with the Lexington Park elders, the ones we live with, and went to a members house to play ping pong and air hockey!! So much fun! It has been a while since I have played either, but I still remember how haha. It was good to hear that Dani's trip was fun! And that school is going well! Although I am still not totally convinced she is going to school, that is super convenient that it starts right after I leave and will end right before I get back.... haha

I wish I had more to tell you about my week, but we mostly just went tracting, some lady that we found tracting the first week I was here was a pretty promising potential investigator, and she cancelled on us 3 times this week... she is sick, so she has an excuse, it is just frustrating. Also, we ran into this couple that was very interesting to say the least, they were nice people, or at least they came across as nice people at first, and they tried to put us down, telling us that we didn't know what we were doing with our lives, and that we didn't know how to really work. That actually made me smile and just think to myself, she has no idea, because I can guarantee you missionary work is harder than any other work she has ever done in her life, and because I have never been as sure as I am about my life than right now, being on a mission.

Well, I love you guys!! Keep writing and telling me what's going on! Dani tell me how everything goes with.... everything haha too many things to name off! But I hope all is well at home! And I will write again next week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. I got the package today! Thanks so much!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner with the Members

Elders Schaap and Walker
Photo by Jeffrey Borgholthaus
Brother Borgholthaus sent me this picture yesterday via email. He's in the Patuxent Ward with the Elders, and they had the missionaries over for dinner at their home Sunday night. He took this picture and said he always enjoyed receiving pictures of his son when he was on his mission, so he thought that Sister Walker and I would enjoy this. How thoughtful! I love it! It's so nice to know there are great people like Brother Borgholthaus looking out for our missionaries!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keep on Tractin'!

Hello Family and Everyone else!

I am doing good, it is freakin hot here, but other than that everything is good! My first week out in the mission field was a busy one! We actually taught a lesson last week on Wednesday night a.k.a. my first day here so that was pretty exciting, we taught a man named Tyrone, he is awesome and has a lot of questions about the gospel, hopefully he and his wife will eventually be baptized before I get transfered! Thursday was a really busy day, we had 3 appointments with some other pretty solid investigators that all have a good chance of being baptized before I leave, so that will be good. There was an Elder here just before me, and he was here for I think 3 transfers and he only had 1 baptism, so we are doing our best to get that number up! Well the other day, I think it was Friday, I went tracting for the first time, man it was hot!!! I think it was about 98 degrees and 60% humid, Dani, would you rather..... Be in 98 and 60 here in D.C. or...... Be in like AZ and have it be a dry 110???? I don't know, but I think I am leaning more towards AZ haha

Anyways, I knocked my first door yesterday! Yikes! It went ok, I was way nervous though! I didn't know what to say!!! Hopefully I become more comfortable with that by the end of this transfer. Things are going good though, other than the fact that it is really really really hot. How are things at home? I had no idea Pres M's dad died, that is way sad, but yeah he didn't even say anything to us. Dani how's your freakin trips???? That's good to hear that Brad isn't a chump hahaha just kidding, I knew he wouldn't be. Well you should be on that one show, because you are having the BEST WEEK EVER haha seriously though... let me know how everything goes.

Oh, also yeah we get fed every night by members haha get this, they have a list at church that people sign up to feed us, yeah.... it's filled for the next like 3 weeks haha so awesome! One more thing, I don't know if I said this yet, but this area is way greener than I thought it would be! I thought it would be like all city and developed, nope there are tons of trees, way more than Utah. Well I gotta get going, but hope you guys have a great week, and Dad, freakin get better!!!!!! Love you guys!!

Elder Schaap

P.S. Also, tell Jake that's sweet!!! (Jake Nelson got his call to the Arkansas Little Rock Mission and leaves Nov. 10) And freakin tell him to email me!! haha Thanks

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome to Patuxent!

Hey everyone!! I made it to D.C.! The flights sucked, but what do you expect when you leave at 1 in the morning? We got to D.C., and the airport here is huge!!! It has a train in it! haha but our luggage got lost because our layover in Georgia was too short for them to be able to get it into our flight to D.C. When we first got here, we went straight to the Temple, and I have to say, all of those pictures I saw of it, definitely didn't do it justice, it is unreal how pretty the Temple here is, definitely my favorite. I tried to take some pictures to show you how amazing it really is, but you all know how good of a photographer I am... After that however, Pres and Sister Matsumori let us sleep, thank goodness, I think I got a total of maybe an hour and a half of sleep on our flights, but I slept well in the mission home, so it was way nice. Other than that though, on the first day here we just went over some random stuff about what we should know, and things we need to learn about the area here. Sister Matsumori made some awesome food for us too, spare ribs for dinner, and this morning she made a breakfast casserole!

Well I am an official missionary now, I didn't really count it at the MTC, but I am now! My trainers name is Elder Walker, he is from Spanish Fork, he doesn't know our cousins though. He is a pretty cool guy, and I think he will be an excellent trainer. The area I am serving in is called Patuxent, I think it is the 2nd most south area in the mission. It is very nice here, there is definitely a lot more trees and things here than I thought there would be, I thought it would be mostly city, but it really isn't. Oh, the humidity..... SUCKS!!!! Holy cow, it is bad, haha one of the kids that drove with us back from the mission home had his glasses fog up as soon as he stepped out of the car! All those people that were telling me that it is way humid here were definitely right. Hmm... I don't really know what else to tell you, the Matsumori's had all of us new missionaries do a session at the Temple with our trainers, so that was a pretty cool experience, we live within walking distance of the church, and there is a Five Guys and a bakery very close as well. We are about 2 hours from the mission home, so I won't be seeing much of the Matsumori's for a little while probably. My companion tells me that we get fed by members nearly every night, Score!! Well I still have to unpack tonight, it is weird, I am really here!

- Elder Schaap

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm in DC!

Just a quick note - Robbie called us last night from the Salt Lake airport. It was REALLY good to talk to him! And then we got a fun phone call early this afternoon from President Matsumori to let us know that he had arrived in DC just fine. There was a little problem with the luggage because their connection in Atlanta was so close, but they think the luggage will be coming on the next flight or two. All is well in DC, and President Matsumori is happy to get his first new group of Elders. It sure was fun to talk to him. He was calling all of the missionary moms to let them know that their sons had arrived safely. What a nice thing to do! I'm sure glad that Robbie will be in the mission field with the Matsumoris presiding over his mission. They are really great people, and I feel very safe knowing that they will be watching over Robbie for the next two years!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Off to DC!

Rob and Cousin Jess at MTC

Rob and Sean at MTC

DC and Atlanta Elders leaving on 8/3

Rob and Bro. Tanner, his MTC teacher

Rob's MTC Zone

Hey everyone! It is so weird to be in the middle of my last day here at the MTC, I feel like I just got here! But it has been good, and I am ready to finally get to this wonderful D.C. that I have been hearing so much about. Well thanks for the packages this week!!! Everyone was jealous of my Dr. Peppers! ha! Also thanks for my pillow and sheets. Yesterday was fast Sunday... longest day of my life!! I almost didn't eat for 24 hours, from 6:45 pm - 4:30 pm the next day! Yikes!! Mom I hope your trip was fun to vegas and all!! By the way, I am sorry if I don't get to all the questions you asked me, but I am limited on time, its ok though, after this week I won't be. As far as my travel Itinerary, no families at the airport, but I leave from SLC at 12:50 AM and get to Atlanta, GA at 6:22 local time, or 4:22 Utah time, we have a 1 hour layover in Georgia, and then we fly to Washington Dulles Airport and get their at 9:10 AM local time, 7:10 Utah time I know I can call from SLC airport, and I would assume that I can call from DC when I get there, but I don't know yet, if not I am sure they will let us email or something just to tell you we got their safely. One last thing, Dani you didn't think I forgot did you??? How the freak was your phone call?!?! I got a sweet letter from BB this week, he gave me some pretty good advice, tell him to give me his address so I can write him back! But seriously Dani, tell me all about it, did you take a picture when you got the call?? haha I bet your face was soooo funny! I wish I could have been there!

Well like I said before, I am freaking out a little bit about actually getting to D.C., I feel like there is tons of pressure on me, but I am sure I will have a good trainer that will show me how it's done. Besides, they don't make bad missionary trainers right? I guess I will find out! It is going to be weird not being with my district 24/7 though, in my district 6 of us are going to D.C. and 4 are going to Georgia Atlanta North, and we don't even fly together, how dumb is that?! No worries though, we will all keep in touch, and afterwards I am sure we will have reunions and things like that. Well keep me up to date on how things are at home! I love hearing everything about it! But time is running short on the computer, so I will talk to you tonight probably around 11:00 or 11:30!!!
- Elder Schaap

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 2!

Elder Schaap and Elder Maughan - Austin Robbs' Bud. They're in the same MTC District!

Elders Kelsch, Schaap, Fowles and Trepanier

Robbie's MTC District

So the first thing I have to tell you is..... I already have my itinerary for my flight!!! Crazy huh?!?! I have a red-eye flight really early on Tuesday August 3rd, my flight leaves from SLC at 12:50! You know what that means..... PHONE CALL!! You better be awake, because I am going to keep calling you until you answer haha. The second thing that I need to address, CAFE RIO?!? For real? Yeah, it was officially meant for me to go to D.C. (We just found out that Cafe Rio is opening in DC. Of all places in the world, they have them in Utah and the West coast and now-DC. He is a lucky boy!)

Well thank you guys for all the letters and packages! I really didn't think I would be as excited as I am to get those things, but it is so awesome when my district leader tells me I have mail, it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the night, so keep them coming!!

So I just want to answer some of the questions you guys have been asking me, Dad I want Alma 29:9 on my plaque if that works. Mom, my branch president's name is President Fisher. Unfortunately no gum here at the MTC, don't ask. Sean got here Wednesday, and I was so excited!!! We have the same meal and gym schedule, so I see him all the time, Sweet!! Well another week has gone by, I can't even tell you how fast this week has gone by, the senior district is leaving this week ;( they are some of my best friends here, and it is going to be really sad to see them go.

Honestly I don't even know what to tell you about what happened this week, it all feels like a blur, and I really can't remember all of it, but it was good. We got new ZL's this week as well, Elder Brown and Elder Bashein they are going to be so good! It is a little weird though, because my district has been in longer than theirs, so we are being told what to do by Elder's who haven't been in as long as us haha no worries though it will be fun, they are cool guys.

Dani, how many days, 4 right?? Holy Mackrell!! Are you freaking out? I am willing to bet that you are haha let me know how it goes, weird to think that by the next time I write you, he will be home!! Crazy!! Also, hows the stats haha I would imagine that you arent even worrying about it too much, but let me know!!!

The MTC is still treating me well, but I am ready to make my own food again... let me just say that the little Lawry's season salt (Which is Robbie's favorite-so much that he took his own shaker!) that I brought is a life saver!! Some of this food here is not edible with out it. The new district is pretty cool, I still don't know them that well yet, but hopefully I will get to know them better in my last week here (WEIRD)!

Well thats about all I have for you today, I am going to write a letter, and send some pictures home!! So I will say more in that! Love you fam!!!

- Elder Schaap

Monday, July 19, 2010


Heyyyyyy everyone!! The MTC has been good so far!! I have had tons of crazy experiences, my district started teaching acting "investigators" on Thursday! Pretty crazy!! I love my district and my zone, my companion is Elder Fowles, he is from Portland Oregon and we work really well together. The food here is alright, but you get as much as you want, so it all works out haha.

I figured out that I am only going to have this P-day, and the next one in the MTC, because we leave the following Monday, August 2nd! I can't wait to get out there!!! By the way, thanks so much for the package!!!! Homemade Oreo's are the best!!! It is so cool getting packages and letters from anyone, but when my DL tells me I have mail, it just gives me the motivation I need to make it through the day. I can only write letters and emails on P-day, but I can read them every night, just FYI.

Well life here at the MTC is definitely crazy, it is weird having my whole day planned out for me down to the minute, but it feels good to be doing something, and being productive all day. As for waking up at 6:30, its not too bad, the first couple of nights I didn't sleep very well, the beds aren't the greatest here, but I am getting more and more used to them. They have some pretty crazy traditions here, I will write a letter telling you more about those haha they are pretty funny. Sunday at the MTC is really really weird, because the only thing that is different about Sunday than any other day pretty much is Sacrament meeting, and you have you wear your jacket all day.... SO HOT!!!! I was pretty much sweating all day, not so fun. But, my teachers are all amazing, my Branch President is actually in Dean's Stake! My class room is on the top floor of my building, and no elevator... and we climb those stairs like 10-15 times a day, its all good though, it keeps that MTC weight off haha

Well I love you guys!!! I miss you! It feels like I have been gone forever already! But sometimes it goes fast because we are so busy! Keep using, thats the best way to write me! And tell Melissa Larson thanks for all the advice!! Talk to you guys next week!!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. 4 Square Rocks, and I totally smelled the Pink Starburst tree!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


July 14, 2010 - The MTC Drop-off day. Great, Sad, Exciting, Terrible, Dork Dot, Tears, Pictures. Not a great day in my book, but for Robbie it was quite different! (Well I'm guessing since we still haven't heard from him!!) He was a little nervous at first, but once we got there he became very curious and anxious and ready to get going! He is officially a missionary of the Lord and now a spiritual sponge soaking in everything he can right now! As for us-we miss him!! This is going to be a long 2 years....

Here's some pics!

Day Before! Elder Sean, Elder Robbie and soon to be Elder Mike